Dubliner Doyle has Sky Blues rising

Coventry 3 Exeter 1

Michael Doyle after Coventry's play-off win over Exeter

Dubliner Michael Doyle savoured a special career moment as he led Coventry City to victory in the League Two final at Wembley yesterday.

Doyle — a one-cap Ireland international — set up the opening goal for Jordan Willis at Wembley yesterday on a day to remember for the Sky Blues.

Three goals arrived in a 19-minute blast after half-time.

Willis superbly curled in from the edge of the area after being set up by Doyle. Jordan Shipley’s deflected effort made it two and then Jack Grimmer sent another fine effort sailing into the top corner.

Kyle Edwards got a late consolation for Exeter, but it was a familiar feeling of woe for them as they slipped to a second successive play-off final defeat.

Coventry boss Mark Robins has promised to enjoy becoming the first Coventry manager to win promotion since 1967 when Jimmy Hill’s team claimed the accolade.

Robins will soon turn his attention to trying to continue the rebuilding project and winning another promotion, but only after he celebrates this one.

I think it’s a great achievement, it has been a really difficult season in a really tough league and I am thankful to get through,” he said.

“It’s a brilliant day for Coventry City and everyone connected with the club. I am so proud.

“It’s great for the club and we are going to have another go. We will enjoy tonight.

“I am going to enjoy the moment, I am going to promise myself to enjoy this one.

“It’s about uniting the club that was desperately in need of galvanising.

I am delighted for everybody connected with the club, it finishes on a real major positive for everybody and that is where we can run with it. The supporters will be really happy.

While Robins celebrates, the defeat could spell the end for Exeter boss Paul Tisdale, the longest serving manager in the Football League.

Tisdale, who has been in charge since 2006, was served notice on his rolling contract by the fan-owned club 18 months ago, but has since been offered a new deal.

The 45-year-old declined the chance to commit with a firm answer. “We will have to see, that’s not a yes or no,” he said.

“Exeter would like to keep me, I believe there is an offer there for me, I am in my rights not to sign that until the end of the season.

“We have to decide how we move forward from here. It’s been something we have built over a long period of time. Now is probably not the right time to discuss my future.”


Burge, Grimmer, Willis, Hyam, Stokes, Bayliss, Kelly, Doyle, Shipley (Reid 73), McNulty (Ponticelli 82), Biamou (Clarke-Harris 51).

Not Used:

McDonald, O’Brien, Maguire-Drew, Thompson.


Pym, Sweeney, Storey, Moore-Taylor, Woodman (James 63), Taylor, Boateng (Edwards 73),Tillson, Moxey (Jay 63), Harley, Stockley.


David Webb

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